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Application Procedures

Applications to our graduate program are accepted beginning in September of the previous year for which you are applying. Our application deadline is December 1.

When applying to the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, the following materials will be required and must be submitted electronically to Rackham Graduate School:

  • Application
    Students can apply to our graduate program online via CollegeNet.  To access the CollegeNet application please go to the Rackham Graduate School website. All materials must be submitted electronically online, except for official transcripts which should be mailed to Rackham. Other mailed in materials will not be considered.
  • Academic Statement of Purpose
    The Statement of Purpose is the single most important item in your application. The purpose of this essay is to give the faculty a clear idea of a) why you want to pursue a degree in Asian Languages and Cultures; b) what questions or problems interest you; c) how you want to address these questions; d) why you want to pursue your graduate degree at the University of Michigan . This statement should be about 800 words long.
  • Personal Statement
    How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests.  This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose.
  • At least one writing sample in English
    This should be a good representation of your academic work, between 10-30 pages long. Most applicants submit a term paper on the subject in which they are applying to do graduate work.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    The letters of recommendation should be accompanied by the Rackham letter of recommendation cover sheet. This sheet is automatically produced when letters are submitted online.
  • All official graduate and undergraduate transcripts
    Unofficial transcript copies can be uploaded through the online application but official copies must still be mailed to the Rackham Graduate School in order for an application to be complete.  Only transcripts from institutions where a degree was received are required.
  • For non-native English speakers only: TOEFL scores
    You may only request exemption from taking the TOEFL if you have received a degree from an accredited English-medium institution. Please follow the instructions provided by Rackham Graduate School.
  • Questions
    If you have questions regarding the application process or the graduate program in Asian Languages and Cultures, please email 

Note: GRE scores are not required for application to our program.